CREMES Research Mentorship Program
How Was the Program Found?
Having noted a burning desire among its part-time research assistants to advance their careers as researchers, CSK Research Solutions initiated, in Nov 2020, CREMES Research Mentorship program.
Through the program, mentees are not only offered with technical research skills but also the key soft skills necessary for a successful career, including work ethics & professionalism. Further, mentees are continuously mentored through research activities that they undertake, and their performance closely monitored. The program started in Tanzania in 2020, and in 2023 was expanded to 5 other African countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Ethiopia.
How Are Mentees Selected?
Mentees are selected through a highly competitive process with a priority given to young people with a passion for developing a career as researchers.
What Does the Program Offer?
Through the program, mentees are not only offered with technical research skills but also other soft skills that are crucial for career success, including work ethics & professionalism, communication & interpersonal skills, presentation skills, time management & priority setting etc. Further, mentees are continuously mentored through actual research activities that they participate in, and their performance closely monitored.
Since the program is designed to support career development in research, mentees are expected to go through three main stages of career development in research as described below:
STAGE I: Research Assistant: This is the lowest program entry level and every mentee that enters the program must be trained and/or evaluated for this level before moving up to a higher level. At this level, mentees are expected to have basic data collection skills (such as collection of both quantitative and qualitative data) and basic data management skills (such as transcription and translation of qualitative data materials and simple data entry).
STAGE II: Junior Research Consultant: This is the second level where mentees are expected to have mastered intermediate research skills such as field supervision, data quality monitoring, coding of qualitative data materials, performing basic analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data and writing of simple activity reports.
STAGE III: . Senior Research Consultant: This is the highest level of the mentorship program where mentees are expected to have gained more advance research skills such as conducting advanced analysis of qualitative and/or quantitative data, crafting of technical reports, developing research proposals and writing of scientific manuscripts.
Internship Program: This component was added to the program in 2023 and is aimed at offering further support to mentees wishing to develop a career as research consultants, including initiating their own research firms. It involves offering mentees hands on experience on how to apply and manage consulting opportunities as well as dealing with clients. To qualify for this final stage, a mentee must have attained the highest level of senior research consultant.
Who Qualifies for the Program?
To qualify for the mentorship program, one must be between the ages of 20 to 35 years and be residing in countries where the program is currently being offered. Currently the program is offered to individuals from the following 5 African countries: 1) Tanzania, 2) Kenya, 3) Uganda, 4) Ethiopia, 5) Rwanda and 6) Nigeria.
Individuals who don't qualify for the program can benefit by signing up for independent research courses at a highly affordable fee.
What is Expected of Mentees?
Mentees MUST be willing to dedicate at least 2-4 hours a week for attending program sessions and completing assignments. After having mastered various research skills, mentees are also expected to participate in actual research activities under CSK as part of ongoing mentorship.
How Long is the Program?
At an individual level, the program is expected to last for one year, however, mentees may progress at different paces. The maximum duration to reach the level of senior consultant is 2 years after which mentees would ONLY be allowed to serve as external consultants to CSK or as part of trainers under the program. The internship program also runs for one year, during which interns are supposed to commit 100% of their time.
How Much Does the Program Cost?
CREMES Research Mentorship Program is offered free of charge to mentees. The program is funded through funds obtained from research activities supported by CSK. Hence, mentees are expected to support research activities under CSK at a slightly lower cost to contribute for the program running costs.
What Are Some of the Success Stories from the Program To-date?
✅ Since inception of the program, CSK has observed a significant improvement in commitment towards high quality research deliverables among its part-time research assistants/consultants (who are all part of the program), which is CSK's mission.
✅ Several mentees have been offered full-time positions by various NGOs and the government of Tanzania to serve various research-related roles.
✅ Several mentees have managed to advance their research career by pursuing masters degrees in research-related fields, including public health.
✅ Many mentees are supporting research activities under many other organizations in Tanzania, including other research institutions, universities and NGOs.
To Learn More About the Program Founder: Visit her personal website 👉 www.drcatherinekahabuka.com
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